Volunteer Review: “Boundaries for Leaders”

Review of “Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships and Being Ridiculously in Charge” by Dr. Henry Cloud; written by Ali S.

51+PTBljdxLFor anyone who has read the bestselling book “Boundaries”, co-written by Dr. Henry Cloud, you’ll find “Boundaries for Leaders” to be a more focused book, specific for anyone in management, anyone who has a special gift in leadership, or anyone who is interested in becoming a leader in some way.

Cloud states throughout the book that building relationships, trust and emotions play a big part in creating a strong team. He mentions various situations and examples of leaders who have been successful and who have made mistakes when it comes to being the best leader you can be.

Although this is a continuation of “Boundaries”, “Boundaries for Leaders” is a good standalone book in case you haven’t read its predecessor. “Boundaries for Leaders” takes our personal boundaries to the next level with regards to managing time, prioritizing tasks, and narrowing your focus. Cloud ends on the positive note that by taking our time and working collectively toward a goal, we can become good leaders who develop strong, well-bound, reliable teams.

Advertisements

Volunteer Review: “Grace for the Afflicted”

Review of “Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness” by Matthew S. Stanford; written by Ali S.

61DYPOJCEwL

Matthew S. Stanford, CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute in Houston, compiled his research and background information to create this book, “Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness.”  He wrote this book based on his background as a neurobiologist, combining straightforward facts and footnotes with sound biblical teaching on mental illness.

“Grace for the Afflicted” is broken up into four sections: psychology, psychiatry and faith; mental disorders; neurological disorders; and caring for those who are suffering.  The two middle sections deal with specific disorders, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, and schizophrenia, with personal stories of real people and how they have either been affected or have seen close friends/family members affected.  The last section focuses on suicide – its trigger points and how to handle a suicidal situation. Each section connects a biblical example, drawing parallels to prominent men such as David and Saul.

Stanford ends the book on a positive note: there is hope. There is a higher God who is there for us, through and through.  “Hope is believing the promise of better things to come despite challenges… Christian hope is confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass.” With the resource of biblical truth and mental health information, Christ followers are able to further their education with the psychological world, even with little to no knowledge.  “The fact that individuals living with mental illness are seeking assistance and counsel from the church should prompt us to rise up and be the hands and feet of Christ to a suffering people.”

Volunteer Review: “Be Our Guest”

71chdlY12eLReview of “Be Our Guest” by Theodore Kinni and The Disney Institute; written by Michele R.

“Be Our Guest” is an interesting insight into the inner workings of the amazing world of Disney. Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting a Disney park knows that it is an experience like no other theme park or vacation. How do they do it? This book gives us an inside look.

Walt Disney knew that to have a great organization you first need a great workforce. He set his apart immediately with their title: cast members. Instead of employees and customers, Disney has cast members and guests. This may seem like a small distinction, but it makes everything more personal. If you have a guest in your home you will treat them very differently than you would a customer or consumer.

“Guestology” is Disney-speak for the art and science of knowing and understanding your guests. It focuses on providing quality service by exceeding every expectation and paying attention to every detail. By anticipating the needs of guests, it provides numerous little “wows” throughout their visit. All of those little “wows” add up to the big “Wow!” that makes Disney famous.

The book is an easy and informative read, though it does get a bit repetitive at times. It has very helpful ideas on how to make guests’ experiences memorable. Many of these practices can be applied not only in a business setting, but also when serving others as we do in The Grounds each week. A bit of a warning: it made my urge to go to Disney even stronger than usual! After all, who doesn’t enjoy hearing, “Have a magical day!”?

Volunteer Book Review: “Confident Faith”

“Confident Faith: Building a Firm Foundation for Your Belief” by Mark Mittelberg

Genre: Apologetics

Reviewed by:  Jim M.

51WHXzNb9tL

In “Confident Faith”, Mark Mittleberg has two primary aims: (1) to help people understand why they believe what they believe, and (2) to lay out reasons that point to Christianity, using logic, scientific evidence, morality, etc. It is meant for the unbeliever who is open and willing to listen to logic, and it is meant for the believer who wants to strengthen his faith.

Mittelberg begins by detailing six faith paths that most people have taken in their lives: traditional, authoritarian (you must believe), intuitive (truth is what you “feel”), relativism (“whatever works for you”), mystical (truth is what you think God told you), or evidential (where logic and evidence point). To help you pinpoint which path you are on, the book features a path questionnaire. “So you owe it to yourself not only to think about where you’re putting your faith, but also to step back and think about how you’re thinking about it.”

Probably the most important topics in this book, however, are the 20 “arrows of truth,” which lay out 20 arguments that point toward the Christian faith, and “Barriers of Belief,” which lay out 10 barriers that keep many from believing (or growing stronger in their faith).

In Mittelberg’s words: “If you have a different set of beliefs, or no religion at all, then I’m convinced you’ve got much to gain and little to lose. Regardless of the outcome, energy spent reflecting on these issues will serve to deepen your convictions about what you ultimately put your trust in—and you might discover some exciting truths along the way.”

Volunteer Book Reviews

One of the many cool perks of serving in The Grounds Bookstore and Cafe is our library checkout program. We allow our volunteers to “check out” books from The Grounds to read, as long as they return them in “like-new” condition and write a review of the book. It has been an awesome way for all of us to learn the inventory and better serve our guests. For years we’ve kept these reviews in-house, but not any longer! You’ll be able to see what we’re reading and what our volunteers are saying about each book. Here are a few to get you started, compliments of one of our longest-serving volunteers, Ali:

“#Struggles” by Craig Groeschel 

Craig Groeschel’s recent book #Struggles tackles the difficult issue of technology, specifically social media, and its impact on our lives.  And it has a huge amount of impact on our everyday lives.  He explains the benefits of technology today, such as connecting with family and friends, finding answers, and even having millions of apps at our fingertips (the Bible app, habit trackers, music players). But, he points out, there is some negative impact it can have on us, such as spending countless hours on social media, replacing God with the internet, and feeding our temptations.  Craig is funny and relatable and explains that he is struggling with the internet just as much as we are.  His writing style is easy but to the point. He writes in a way that will make you listen and reflect on your life, heart and relationship with God.  #Struggles ends with “10 commandments of using social media” and ways we can limit our use. No matter where you are in your faith, this book can assist you in realizing the hold that that social media has on your life and how you can flip your life upside down to focus on God and strengthen your relationship with Him.

“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey has sold millions of copies of “The Total Money Makeover.”  He is best known for Financial Peace University and his radio talk show, so this man knows best when it comes to money and God. Ramsey begins the book by explaining what this book is NOT: overly sophisticated, complicated, misleading or redundant.  He suggests first reading the real-life stories that are included throughout the book, all of which are inspiring and make you want to jump up and start getting out of debt.  But he says multiple times that it doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t happen in a week, it might not happen in a few months; it may take a year or two. It shouldn’t discourage you, though, because “if you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else”.  This is his way of “reminding you that if you will make the sacrifices now that most people aren’t willing to make, later on you will be able to live as those folks will never be able to live”.  This motto is included at the bottom of each page, a constant reminder to focus on the future. Ramsey specifically helps with baby steps, which include having an emergency fund, tackling debt, investing for retirement, funding college, and paying off the home mortgage. This book motivates you to take the next step – a step with God and for God – and to eliminate any stress when it comes to money. God does not want for debt to overtake our lives or for us to feel anxious about the future. He wants so much more for us than that.

Book Review: The Seven Deadly Virtues

Blog written by Grounds’ guest blogger Rebecca Vincent. 

51tx8DXh-bL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

In The Seven Deadly Virtues: Temptations in Our Pursuit of Goodness, author and pastor Todd E. Outcalt introduces readers to seven aspects of our lives that are often lauded as good and positive but that can yield serious challenges to our spiritual growth if we are indulgent in their application.

The title connects these seven areas, which Outcalt has labeled “virtues,” with the infamous “seven deadly sins.” The inferred connection may create more confusion than clarity. The sins of wrath, greed, envy, sloth, gluttony, lust, and pride are inherently offensive to God – they are sins. They have no wiggle room in their application and are not to be negotiated. The “virtues” reflect positive aspects of Christian living that Outcalt warns us can become detrimental to our spiritual growth if we do not continue to focus on their source of goodness, Jesus Christ. In this sense, I find the “virtue” label to be misleading. These are values – arguably with the exception of two (but more on that in a minute) – with the potential to slide towards vice or virtue depending on how we use them. Their danger is not in what they are but in what we do with them.

Nevertheless, Outcalt does not take the simple path of suggesting that these virtues become deadly merely if we become too proud of our efforts in them. That conclusion would make this slim book even shorter. Rather, he pushes these virtues to their fullest expression and demonstrates how we can abuse and misuse their meaningful purposes. In his chapter on faith, Outcalt explores the tentative relationship between what we believe and how we live our belief:

“We should never allow faith in God to become a set of rules or a self-centered exercise that has more to do with personal growth or self-fulfillment than the gospel of Jesus. Faith should never be equated with something we coerce from God but should be regarded as a loving relationship with God.”

His section on goodness rightly dissects its temptations:

“Here we see the dark side of the virtue of goodness: the idea that our various successes, achievements, awards, honors, and accolades amount to something in the eyes of God… First, we regard ourselves as good enough, then accomplished, and then outstanding, and finally indispensable. Before long we don’t need anything from God or anyone else. We have arrived on our own merits.”

In the pages that follow Outcalt redirects readers back to the source of goodness and affirms that goodness is not a destination, it is a process. More importantly, it is the work of the Holy Spirit and not ourselves.

In one final example, and the one that stood out the most for me, Outcalt connects gratitude as the antidote for flashy giving that masquerades as generosity.

“Generosity is a virtue that can cause us to look past the source of our blessings, which is, of course, the Lord. The one great temptation of generosity is to see ourselves as the source of the gift rather than seeing the Giver of all good things. We often give without recognizing that God’s work—God’s generosity—makes our generosity possible.”

And later in the chapter:

“Gratitude is the one attitude that can save us from the deadly virtue of generosity. Gratitude removes the emphasis from the gift and places it squarely on the Giver, God.”

For each virtue, Outcalt challenges churches and individuals through examples and anecdotes to reflect carefully on their decisions and consider the messages that their actions portray. To guide those reflections, The Seven Deadly Virtues time and again points readers to rely on Christ as the example and source for the best in each virtue.

However, tucked into the middle of the book are two virtues that I do not accept, and I thought their presence was confusing. I had a hard time accepting the inclusion of success and power as virtues, let alone even values. I don’t understand them to be attributes that God has modeled for us, promised us, or has encouraged us to pursue. They may be by-products of God’s blessing or empowerment in our lives, but they are not ours to elevate to significance. Outcalt wrote thought-provoking chapters on the nature of these two areas in our lives and our churches, but they are misplaced as virtues.

The Seven Deadly Virtues includes supporting perspectives from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, Phillip Yancey, and others, as well as many references to the Bible’s teachings. At times the abundance of personal examples crowds space that would have been better suited to further analysis, but Outcalt’s range of sources provides good launching points for digging deeper. It is only in considering the book as an entire entity that prompted a tepid response. Matters of style, an occasional wavering sense of intent and purpose, and discrepancies in definitions caused confusion and a sense of unsubstantiated arguments. Taken independently, however, each chapter is a solid overview and analysis of its respective topic; there is much in each chapter to engage readers and generate discussion.

Outcalt, Todd E. “The Seven Deadly Virtues: Temptations in Our Pursuit of Goodness”

Book Review: “Paradoxology”

Blog written by Grounds’ guest blogger Rebecca Vincent

41M8Lz0zWGL

Tucked in the middle of Paradoxology: Why Christianity Was Never Meant to be Simple, in a chapter grappling with The Habakkuk Paradox of “The God Who is Consistently Unpredictable,” author Krish Kandiah puts the thrust of the book:

“It is too easy to settle for pre-packaged, disengaged faith that happily goes along with the flow and avoids the tricky questions. But this is not the faith of the Bible’s heroes. Their lives were messier than we like to dwell on, and each one’s relationship with God has its ups and downs too. In an increasingly unpredictable and chaotic world, boil-in-the-bag religion will not build a faith that is mature enough to survive the intellectual or emotional turmoil that life is all too good at throwing at us. A resilient faith that can handle the unpredictability of life in God’s world must also be an honest faith with room to express doubt.”

Throughout the entire book, Kandiah tackles seemingly overwhelming aspects of God’s nature that have the potential of leaving faithful followers confused, and vulnerable Christ-followers questioning. Silence, suffering, genocide, failure, and free will make appearances. Kandiah examines the familiar stories of Abraham, Moses, Jonah, and Jesus alongside the less familiar, but no less instructive, stories of Hosea, Habakkuk, and the churches of Rome and Corinth.

Each chapter connects readers with the history of another person who engaged with the living God. Often they did not come to a divine revelation about their circumstances during their lifetime. They continued to live within the seeming paradoxes of God’s nature. How they chose to proceed influenced how their faith developed. In this way, readers are redirected from viewing God as the problematic paradox to God as the faith-giving sustainer to His followers.

Kandiah writes not because he has found the answers but because he has found reward in wrestling with the questions. The first part of the title is a merging of two words: paradox and doxology – a hint that within any effort to genuinely search for the God of the Bible, often between a rock and a hard spot, we can emerge in praise and worship that is deeper, fuller, and awe-inspired, if we so choose to proceed.

Kandiah’s writing about issues of theological significance is accessible and thoughtful. Intrepid readers are introduced to chapters and concepts with personal anecdotes and applicable reflections. A discussion that could be perceived as weighty and dense is conveyed with candor and clarity.

The personal touches do more than just welcome readers to the global church and universal quandaries of the subject. They remove any mindset that these chapters are solely about historical moments with God, safely questioned and understood at a distance. The circumstances of an Esther (the God who speaks silently) or Judas (the God who determines our free will) may differ from those of a modern day Jon or Elizabeth, but the tension these paradoxes create exists just as much now as it did then.

Kandiah’s exploration of potent paradoxes throughout scripture encourage believers to recognize the necessity of such tension for a life of dynamic faith. Rather than avoid these conundrums, Kandiah guides and encourages readers to confront them with confidence that God is in the struggle, just as He is everywhere.

Kandiah, Krish. “Paradoxology: Why Christianity Was Never Meant to be Simple.”

Q&A with Pastor White about “Meet Generation Z”

Blog compiled by The Grounds Bookstore and Cafe staff, with help from Pastor Jim White

Pastor Jim White recently released a new book, “Meet Generation Z”, tackling the first post-Christian generation to grow up in our culture. The book is a must read (available here for purchase), and we were so intrigued by its content that we had a couple of follow-up questions. Pastor White was gracious enough to entertain them, and below you’ll find our Q&A dialogue:

 

Quite directly, why should the average Millennial, Baby Boomer or older generations care about the spiritual life and cultural influence of Generation Z?

If you’re a Christ-follower, the answer is obvious. This generation of Christians will stand before God and give an account for this generation of non-Christians. Further, Generation Z presents a real urgency as not only the largest generation demographically, but the first that can truly be deemed “post-Christian.”

 

Considering that the Generation Z population falls roughly into the age bracket of 7 to 22 years old, is the best way to reach them by targeting them directly or their parents? And what’s the best way to do that?

Yes to both! And to answer the second question would simply mean restating the book, so…  J

 

You mention early on in the book that Generation Z is characterized by having shorter attention spans (8-seconds), due largely from social media and access to competing avenues of instant information. Is there a way to reclaim critical thinking and prolonged mediation, or are humans only going to continue becoming less able to think deeply or for a long time about anything?  

This is a very important question, and one that no one quite knows the answer to. We know the attention span across all ages is shrinking; we know there is less reading of books; we know that while there is virtually unlimited access to information, there is little wisdom. However, I do think this trend can be reversed and deep thinking, wide reading, careful reflection and more can enter into any life. But it will take intentionality. I would recommend my little book A Mind for God as a primer on how to begin to do just that.

 

Many of us reading this are parents of Generation Z children. You’ve often talked about how the church, while vital in spiritual formation, cannot be the sole spiritual influence in a child’s life. How do you suggest parents talk to or engage with their elementary and middle-school aged children about such concepts as truth and counter-culture living, especially when many of us are learning about God for the first time as well, not to mention we’re up against an 8-second attention span?   

The good news is that parents don’t face the 8-seconds issue I talk about in the book. That was a specific reference to the filtering process they use as they access the vast amounts of information and stimuli via such things as the internet. Parents, obviously, get more time than that and more attention. I believe parents must be much more engaged with their children in terms of the “under protective” nature of our day, which I speak about in the book. I did an entire series at Meck on this called “The Under Protective Parent”, which I would recommend people get through ChurchAndCulture.org. We are not helpless in the face of culture as parents. As I explore in that series, we can be informed, involved and in charge.

 

We know that every lost person matters to God, regardless of their age. So when dealing with a multi-generational congregation, how do you properly address the needs/characteristics of each generation? Or do you only cater to the newest generations?

While the book focuses on Generation Z, the truth is that many of the ideas and principles apply to everyone in a post-Christian, post-truth world. So in terms of content and even much of approach, there is common ground. When there are stylistic differences, I would recommend skewing young, which I give reasons for in the book. But even this does not bypass other generations – in many ways, it helps reach and retain them. It’s counterintuitive, I know, but I explain the thinking in the eighth chapter of the book where I speak to the multi-generational question.

 

You mention early on in the book that some are saying that Generation Z will be the last named generation. Do you agree?

I think I do. Now, to be sure, marketers and others will label away as fast and furiously as ever, but in the sociological sense I think there is truth to the idea that this will be the last true cohort due to the vastly increased speed of change. There will be shared experiences, and obviously a shared zeitgeist, that will affect us all – and some ages more than others – but it’s unclear whether we will be able to speak of true generational markings as much as markings of our culture as a whole, or of a particular class (as in high school or college graduating classes). So it will be much smaller groupings, or else very large, macro assessments.

 

Book Review: “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church… and Rethinking Faith”

Blog by Sarah Wilson, The Grounds Bookstore & Cafe staff member

51yul4fgcl

Shedding light on the young adult’s perception of the church, culture, and Christianity, David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, addresses their frustrations, disappointments, delusions, hopes, and concerns. “You Lost Me signals their judgment that the institutional church has failed them.”  In his book, he examines the question – “How can we (as individuals and collectively as His church) faithfully follow Jesus while guiding young people to do the same?”

Through the Barna Group’s research, he discovered there are three classifications of young adults between the ages of 18-27, he refers to as “Mosaics”, who’ve left the church:

“Nomads” –  Those who’ve walked away from church but still consider themselves Christians.

“Prodigals” – Those who’ve lost their faith and consider themselves no longer Christian.

“Exiles” –  Those whom still invest in their Christian faith, but feel divided between culture and church.

As the generations before us, Millennials (where Mosaics reside) have been deeply influenced by the sexually revolutionizing, family restructuring, hippie, Watergate, and Cold War era generation of Baby Boomers. One natural consequence is they’ve a great deal of skepticism toward authority – meaning who to trust and why – leaving them holding the value of cultural group thinking over laws and even morality. Wherever the pendulum may swing, so to shift their values. To Millennials truth has become relative. They’ve replaced a quest for knowledge with whatever Google pulls up in a search result.

I should come clean before going further…hello, my name is Sarah and I am a Millennial. When attempting to have discussions outside of my friends and community, I’ve more often than not been painfully subjected to parroted sound bites, studies or obviously unchecked stats recited to me without being followed up by any independent thought or opinions. It’s abundantly clear that my peers are unaware that this does not qualify as honest, intelligent discussion. Asking for elaboration typically offends or makes Millennials feel “unsafe”.

What does this mindset mean for the Church? There’s both good and bad news that goes along with this. The bad news is that the dearly held “old normal” structure of congregations and parishes leaves this generation having a very difficult time relating to and finding any comfort in the church. The good news is that, ultimately, God’s church is called to be the community of love, doing away with both isolation and alienation. The “old normal” must grow into the “new normal”, while still holding to its integrity in Biblical truth, if it is to remain authentic in reaching those who don’t yet know Christ (Matt. 28:16-20).

Kinnaman’s solution: rethinking relationships. Abandoning the idea that the church exists to prepare the next generation to fulfill God’s purpose. Rather, he suggests that the church is a partnership of generations fulfilling God’s purpose collectively, in their time.

What does this mean?

The church should be intercultural. When society divides us in neat little sections for marketing, housing, what have you, we are to look past socioeconomic, cultural, and generational divides and work together, loving one another. As Kinnaman puts it, “Jesus commanded that our love would be the telltale sign of our devotion to Him (John 13:35) as well as a community where various age demographics genuinely love each other and work together with unity and respect.”

What really stuck out to me, in his chapter entitled “Shallow”, was the topic on expecting too little. “In our research, we find clear evidence that many parents and churches have expectations of young people that are much too low or much too driven by cultural ideas of success. Often we misread youth involvement in the church with growth in faith.”

His point is to substitute shallow faith with apprenticeships.

My (church) home, Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck), does this exceptionally well. Each ministry has volunteer positions within which teens and young adults are not only free to participate, but are also encouraged to grow both spiritually and in performance. Recently our Arts Ministry highlighted high school students in our Christmas Eve services, both as members of a special musical performance as well as actors in a comedic drama. The Grounds Bookstore & Cafe, the ministry I have the privilege of working in, has even created a special position for middle and high school students called The Junior Barista Program. But as Kinnaman has made more than clear in his findings, Meck is sadly the exception rather than the norm.

I want to deeply encourage you to read “You Lost Me” because Kinnaman has really challenged me to take a look at myself and how I interact with those who hold opposing views and beliefs from my own. I clearly needed the dose of grace he offers and the motivation to be encouraging of others who are turned off by their perception of Christianity – the kind of encouragement that will lead them back to Him. Kinnaman not only offers an abundance of research as to why Millennials have teetered off from their faith, but he also challenges us with real and practical solutions.

Kinnaman, David. “You Lost Me”

The “Who” Behind Our Missions

Blog by Alexis Drye, Director of The Grounds Bookstore & Cafe

You hear it all the time in The Grounds: “All proceeds support Meck’s ministries and missions’ partners, both locally and globally.” And we’re proud of that. It means that all of your purchases mean something; a lot, actually. But who exactly does it go to? For this blog, we’re going to introduce you to some of our local ministry partners. And while you can feel confident that you’re already supporting them through your purchases in The Grounds, as well as your participation in the Meck offering, we also offer opportunities for you to physically go and serve these partners. We’re listing some of our upcoming “Serve Days” in case you want to get involved.

Children’s Hope Alliance – For 125 years, this organization has been helping families and children in North Carolina to achieve hope and healing. Through services such as foster care, adoption, clinical assistance, training programs, therapeutic services and residential assistance, Children’s Hope Alliance meets families where they are in their struggles and provides an individual plan that will guide them to healing. At their Statesville location, Meck lends a hand every month with their Group Home program, cooking dinner for the children staying there. Not only do we get to give their room parents a break, but we also get to remind the children how loved they are and supported by the community.

NEXT SERVE DAY: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 5:15 PM – 7:30 PM. Register HERE.

 

Second Harvest Food Bank – Serving people in 19 counties across the Carolinas, the Second Harvest Food Bank aims to end hunger in our community, especially among children. They partner with more than 650 agencies to distribute food to those in need, including shelters, soup kitchens, daycares and more.  They’re constantly collecting and distributing food, while also educating and advocating for those in need. Every month, Meck assists in the warehouse sorting and inspecting food.

NEXT SERVE DAY: Saturday, October 22, 2016, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Register HERE.

 

Crisis Assistance Ministry – Financial crises are just that: crises. They’re unplanned events like a lost job, a sudden medical diagnosis, an unexpected bill, a house fire. The Crisis Assistance Ministry provides assistance for people who find themselves in financial crisis, helping them to achieve self-sufficiency. One of their many programs is their Free Store of clothing, household goods, shoes and books available to their clients at no charge. Each month, a team from Meck volunteers at the Free Store, sorting and inspecting donations or prepping the Store for customers.

NEXT SERVE DAY: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Register HERE.

 

Olde Knox Commons – Olde Knox Commons is a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Huntersville that strives to improve the quality of life for its patients while maintaining their dignity, self-worth and valued relationships. They pride themselves on their caring staff, compassion for their patients, and the lengths that they go to to makes sure that meeting the patients’ needs is the main focal point of its mission. The Meck Serve Day aims to bring joy to the elderly residing there. It’s a family-friendly serving opportunity that results in new friendships and lots of joy.

NEXT SERVE DAY: Saturday, November 05, 2016, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Register HERE.

 

Ranson Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care – “We are special people who have a heart-felt love for helping seniors enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle in a supportive environment focused on socialization, good food, good health, safety, and independence.” As quoted on their website, the Ranson Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care facility works to treat their patients as family as they provide a variety of services, including assisted living accommodations, on-site physician care and rehabilitation, support groups for Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, and more. Meck sends a team here every month to bring joy to the patients. Like the Serve Day at Olde Knox Commons, this is a family-friendly opportunity. In fact, the patients love seeing little ones!

NEXT SERVE DAY: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM. Register HERE.

 

Charlotte Rescue Mission – For more than 75 years, the Charlotte Rescue Mission has helped men and women in our community to achieve victory over their addictions. With their Christian-based recovery programs, they assist their patients to find long-term sobriety, establish stable employment and housing, and repair and build healthy relationships. Once every two months, Meck sends a team of people there to serve breakfast to the clients at the mission. If you’re a morning person, this is definitely the Serve Day for you!

NEXT SERVE DAY: Thursday, November 10, 2016, 5:30 AM – 7:30 AM. Register HERE.

 

Habitat for HumanityProbably the most internationally well-known partner of ours, Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian ministry that works to create a world where every human being has a decent place to live. “Our mission is to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.” Meck partners with them here in Charlotte to build homes for those in need.

NEXT SERVE DAY: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Register HERE.

 

The Christian Mission of Mooresville/Lake Norman – This comprehensive organization serves nearly 5,000 families in the Mooresville/Lake Norman area who are hoping to escape the crippling effects of poverty. They help families gain an accurate understanding of their current situation and then establish client-specific plans to help them rise out of poverty. In their words, “We are available for our clients through their entire journey out of poverty to self-sufficiency.” Through programs such as emergency and transitional housing, care for the elderly and disabled, and an ongoing food pantry, The Christian Mission has seen countless families avoid and overcome poverty. Meck serves them through our biannual food drives as well as occasional Serve Days throughout the year.

 

A Child’s Place – When you think of the word “homeless”, who immediately comes to mind? For most of us, it’s not the face of a child, but the truth is that there are thousands of homeless children in Charlotte. A Child’s Place works to “erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education.” They partner with local schools to identify homeless children, and then work with the children and their families to provide a variety of assistance. By equipping the student with things like food, school supplies and other basic necessities, A Child’s Place can help a child feel prepared and confident in school. But the organization also goes deeper on a case-by-case basis for families in a state of long-term homelessness, addressing psychological difficulties, domestic violence, financial stability, employment opportunities, etc. Every year, Meck holds a backpack drive to collect school supplies and hygiene items for the homeless students in Charlotte.

As you can see, when we say that your purchases supports “missions”, we’re talking about human beings in our community and around the world who need your help. Who knew that a cup of coffee could be so powerful?